Verging on Extra-vagance
Anthropology, History, Religion, Literature, Arts...Showbiz
By (author) James A. Boon
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Verging on Extra-vagance by James A. Boon
Book DescriptionIn this book, James Boon ranges through history and around the globe in a series of provocative reflections on the limitations, attractions, and ambiguities of cultural interpretation. The book reflects the unusual keyword of its title, extra-vagance, a term Thoreau used to refer to thought that skirts traditional boundaries. Boon follows Thoreau's lead by broaching subjects as diverse as Balinese ritual, Montaigne, Chaucer, Tarzan, Perry Mason, opera, and the ideas of Jacques Derrida, Ruth Benedict, Kenneth Burke, and Mary Douglas. He makes creative and often playful leaps among eclectic texts and rituals that do not hold single, fixed meanings, but numerous, changing, and exceedingly specific ones. Boon opens by exploring links between ritual and reading, focusing on commentaries about the seclusion of menstruating women in Native American culture, trance dances in Bali, and circumcision (or lack of it) in contrasting religions. He considers the ironies of "first-person ethnography" by telling stories from his own fieldwork, reflecting on ethnological museums, and making seriocomic connections between Mark Twain and Marcel Mauss. In expansive discussions that touch on Manhattan and Sri Lanka, the Louvre and the "World of Coca-Cola" museum, willfully obscure academic theory and shamelessly commercial show business, Boon underlines the inadequacies of simple ideologies and pat generalizations. The book is a profound and eloquent exploration of cultural comparison by one of America's most original and innovative anthropologists.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691016313
(229mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 29-Mar-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author James A. Boon
Affinities and Extremes, Paperback (March 1990)
Examining representations of Balinese culture in complex contexts of Indonesia's colonial history, Hindu ritual practice as opposed to Islam, and comparative Indo-European hierarchies, Boon offers a powerful critique of doctrinal approaches to culture, religion, literature, politics, and the history of ideas and disciplines.
Other Tribes, Other Scribes, Paperback (April 1983)
In this book, James A. Boon investigates the history, dialectics and practice of the symbolic analysis of cultural diversity.
Anthropological Romance of Bali 1597-1972, Paperback (November 1977)» View all books by James A. Boon
This book is the first thorough study of Balinese social and cultural dynamics.
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